By Musa Ubandawaki-
Following the upsurge in the activities of unrepentant bandits in Zamfara state who refused to key into the ongoing Peace Initiatives of Zamfara State Government Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD) commenced intensive operations to flush them and other criminal elements.
According to the Acting force information officer of the operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD) Captain Abayomi Oni-Orisan from 16 December 2019 to 9 January 2020, troops comprising personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services and other security agencies, conducted several clearance operations to smoke out and neutralize bandits from their enclaves.
He said So far, OPHD troops have flushed out bandits hibernating around Tashar Kuturu, Dankalgo, Gobirawa junction, Bageg and Kawaye
Other areas the information said are Duhuwa, Sabon-Birni, Dankurmi, Dangulbi, Hayin Bawa, Zango, Unguwar Shanu, Tundu Mali, Magazu, Mayanchi and Gando forest, in Anka, Talata Mafara, Tsafe, Maru and Bukkuyum Local Government areas of Zamfara state.
The OPHD ground troops backed by the fighter jets of the Air Component also cleared Shinfida town in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina state, neutralizing several bandits in the process, the information officer averred.
During the operations, he said troops successfully neutralized about 100 bandits, including 6 key commanders, and rescued 10 kidnapped persons.
He said troops also recovered catchment of Arms and 500 rounds of Ammunitions including 7.62mm special ammunition, 23 Motorbikes 15 AK 47 rifles, 4 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG) , 1 PKM Machine Gun, 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bomb, 1 Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) tube, 11 fully loaded magazines,
600 rustled cows and 300 sheeps
Captain further said it is worthy not that during the clearance operations, OPHD troops in collaboration with the Defence Forces of Niger Republic apprehended a high profile Gunrunner named “Kunene”, responsible for the inflow of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons to the region was apprehended
Other 3 suspected bandits namely Abubakar Kiri Koloma, Abubakar Ibrahim and Haruna Alhaji Yaro, and 2 notorious drug dealers; Kabiru Abubakar Isah and Hamisu Dan-kwanba were apprehended in Zamfara state during the operation.
All the suspects captain Abayomi said have been docummented and handed over to the relevant security agencies for further interrogation and prosecution.
The troops of OPHD had however succeeded in ensuring the safety of Gusau-Sokoto, Katsina-Jibia, Gusau-Shinkafi-Sokoto, Kajiji-Gummi, Anka-Gusau, and many other roads for travellers, the captain stated.
He explained that in the last two months, no incident of kidnapping or highway robbery has taken place on the aforementioned roads.
” The onslaught against unrepentant and recalcitrant armed bandits will continue until banditry is completely crushed and peace is restored in Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto states” says the information officer.
He said the Troops of OPHD were highly motivated, determined, disciplined and professional in executing the mission in line with Rules Of Engagement (ROE) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
Consequently, Captain Abayomi reiterated the assurance of the Force Commander (FC) of the OPHD and Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 division, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Aminu Bande of the safety of the good and peace loving people of Zamfara and other neighbouring states.
He called called on public to support the operation by providing timely and credible information to OPHD troops through the dedicated emergency telephone numbers, earlier provided to the general public, for prompt and efficient action.
The GOC warned recalcitrant bandits and their cohorts to immediately lay down their arms and embrace the on-going peace process or face full military action.